Report: Chicago Transit Authority Has Paid Out $60M in Accident Settlements and Judgments

CTA_BusWhen you are injured in a vehicle accident, one of the key steps in the process may be finding the appropriate legal grounds to assert your case, not only against the driver, but also against the driver’s employer. Sometimes, the employer can be indirectly liable through what’s called “vicarious liability”. Other times, an employer may be liable for its own mistakes, like hiring and retaining an unsafe driver who eventually caused the accident that injured you. To learn more about your options if you’ve been hurt in a crash, talk to a skilled Chicago injury lawyer about your situation.

CBS 2 reported recently on the rash of accidents involving Chicago Transit Authority busses. In one instance, according to the report, a CTA bus driver changed lanes to get around a car, then proceeded through the intersection on a red light. The westbound bus collided with a southbound car in Humboldt Park, causing serious injuries, including a ruptured spleen, broken bones and a traumatic brain injury for the driver of the southbound car.

The driver of the southbound car received a payment of roughly $8 million. The evidence she had in her case included proof that the CTA hired the driver despite his having on his driving record citations for negligent driving, failure to obey a traffic signal, improper lane usage and five speeding violations.

According to the CBS report, the primary information that the CTA looks at is whether or not the candidate’s driver’s license is in good standing. The CTA does not analyze court records to analyze how many tickets a driver has received.

The Humboldt Park driver is just the latest to receive judgments or settlements in their auto accident negligence cases. All combined, the cases have cost the CTA approximately $60 million, according to CBS 2.

There are various ways in which an employer, like the CTA, might be liable for the negligent acts carried out by their drivers. It’s called “vicarious liability” in legal terminology. In plain English, if a worker commits an act of negligence while furthering the employer’s business interests, then that employee and the employer are liable for the damages caused, even though the employer did not directly commit any act of negligence.

However, injured people can also assert claims against employers based upon an employer’s own negligence that contributed to the injury accidents. Illinois law says that employers have a legal obligation to act reasonably in how they go about hiring, supervising and retaining their employees. So, if you suffer injuries as a result of an accident caused by a bus driver, and you subsequently discover that the bus driver had a terrible driving record, you potentially could have a case in Illinois for obtaining compensation on the basis that the employer acted unreasonably (and therefore negligently) when it hired (or alternately retained) a driver with such a checkered driving record. In this type of claim, it is the employer’s own actions (or inaction) that makes up the basis of its liability.

If you have been hurt in a bus crash, chances are that your injuries were very substantial. You need to make sure that you receive everything to which the law entitles you as you try to get back on your feet. The diligent Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck have been effectively representing personal injury clients for many years and are ready to advocate for you. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

A Chicago Driver Receives a $4.75M Settlement After Her Collision With a Municipal Garbage Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 10, 2018

How an Injured Illinois Pedestrian’s $9M Jury Verdict Survived After an Appeal, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 30, 2018

Photo Credit: Wesha, [CC0 License], via Wikimedia Commons